Mac mini 2012 quad or mac mini 2014 (or Imac)

pookitoo

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 16, 2015
220
98
Paris
Hello !
I'm a freelance web designer and I've buy the new retina macbook for the travel, but i need a more powerful computer to do :

- some imovie and final cut stuff (not heavy thing)
- xCode (some iOS app and i hope in the future more heavy app, so i need to think about the compile time)
- sketch app / affinity designer / affinity photo
- some virtual machine (xpenology / a little windows server for testing)
- maybe the mac os server app
- Logic Pro

So, i don't know what to do :
- a mac mini 2012 quad (2,3 ghz) and putting a 256 ssd and 16 go ram
- a mac mini 2014 (2,6 ghz, 8 go ram soldered ;( and put a ssd in it
(- a Imac ? (the 5k is very expensive !!!! but if i need it for my work, i can think about it )
 
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MRrainer

macrumors 65816
Aug 8, 2008
1,274
728
Zurich, Switzerland
Budget?
If you do a lot of VMs, 16 GB RAM can be quite useful.
Either at least a 2014 with 8GB RAM and Fusion Drive, or a 2012 QC with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD. Whichever works out cheaper.
The 2014 has 2xTB2, you can drive 2x 2560x1600 from it. Or one display and a very fast storage expansion unit.
What display do you want to buy?
 
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ChinkyBob

macrumors regular
Oct 10, 2014
197
96
I have the 2012 QC with 16gb ram and 1tb SSD, man that mother flies and is good for a number of years to come.
I intend to add a second hard drive as soon as the 3tb 2.5inch hard drives are launched for a 4gb little flyer for all my media.
I recommend the quad core power.
 

pookitoo

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 16, 2015
220
98
Paris
Thank ;)

So, for the budget, it's difficult to say, less is always better, but it's for my work, i need to put the right budget for the right thing.

The benchmark :

32 bits single :
imac 5K : 3468
mac mini 2014 : 2841
mac mini 2012 : 2688

32 multi :
imac 5K : 10976
mac mini 2012 : 10399
mac mini 2014 : 5874

64 single :
imac 5K : 3843
mac mini 2014 : 3118
mac mini 2012 : 3006

64 bits multi :
imac 5K : 12183
mac mini 2012 : 11691
mac mini 2014 : 6618

(i see a very big difference in the multi core benchmark, but i don't know if my software use all the core, for the vm i know but for the other software like Xcode, imovie or final cut, or logic pro etc ...)

I don't need a lot of storage : i can replace the hdd from the mac mini 2014 or the mac mini 2012 with a ssd and in the imac it's a fusion drive (i'v synology NAS with 3tb)

For ram : 8 go in the mac mini 2014 and soldered, 8 go in the imac and i can upgrade by myself, and 16 go that i can put in the mac mini 2012

For the price : (i'm in france)
I can have the mac mini 2014 (2,6 / 8 go / 1to ) and i can buy an ssd : for 619 $ + 115 $ = 734 $
I can have the mac mini 2012 (quad 2,3) and put a sad and 16 go ram : for 907 $
And the Imac 5k : 2599 $

For the display : i have a LG 25 inch widescreen

And i'm afraid about the intel graphic card in the 2012 mac mini, i don't know the real difference between the hd4000 and the Intel iris in the mac mini 2014.

And i don't know if the imac 5K is a very good deal for me ;( (i don't think i'm the target for this computer, and it's very expensive)
 
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MRrainer

macrumors 65816
Aug 8, 2008
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728
Zurich, Switzerland
I don't do movies, so I can't comment on that. Buy my 2.3 QC 2012 drives a 2600x1600 display and a 1920x1200 display. As you can see, in multicore benchmarks the 2012 Mini is almost as good as the 2014 rIMac.
Because you can't expand it, I'd go with 16G from the start - unless you know you're going to replace it as soon as you need more RAM. This makes the 2014 Mini a bit more expensive.
If you want to install the SSD yourself (and thus not go with Apple's PCIe-SSD blades), I'd skip the 2014 - unless you need the 2 TB2 ports.
 

Celerondon

macrumors 6502a
Oct 17, 2013
679
124
Southern Cal
...

(i see a very big difference in the multi core benchmark, but i don't know if my software use all the core, for the vm i know but for the other software like Xcode, imovie or final cut, or logic pro etc ...)

For ram : 8 go in the mac mini 2014 and soldered, 8 go in the imac and i can upgrade by myself, and 16 go that i can put in the mac mini 2012

...
It is essential to know this information in order to make an informed decision. Do more research. What demands will your software present to the display adapter? The HD4000 is limited but capable. Xcode, iMovie, and Final Cut Pro all utilize multiple processor cores.

I like the 2012 i7 mini for your use. Quad-core horsepower plus accessibility that permits expansion of the RAM to 16Gb (at any time) make the 2012 i7 mini seem more suited to your desired tasks.

i7 Cores.jpg
 

pookitoo

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 16, 2015
220
98
Paris
i bought the mac mini quad 2012 and i've installed a 256 ssd (samsung 850 evo) and 16 gb for ram, i've put the second hdd in it (with the ifixit kit) to have a time machine backup for my retina macbook, the mac mini and my wife's macbook air ;)

All is perfect !

But a question :

I 've read we need to put an external video out to have max performance ? In the thunderbolt port it's work ?
 

phrehdd

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
3,326
749
1) check your applications - see if any of the video offerings of each has any significant impact. (As example, Photoshop CS6 really doesn't gain anything to speak of from higher end video as it is more CPU intensive).
2) check your applications - see if there are any advantages to a quad CPU (I would say in most cases yes).
3) Colour calibration - iMacs are "fair" but a good graphics monitor is a better fit (with calibration tools of course).
4) If you like the iMac, consider a non 5k one unless your work requires it. (Lots of excellent refurbs out there.)

For me, the 2012 quad Mac Mini with 16 gig, SSD has served me well with Capture One Pro and Photoshop CS6. I use a 24" NEC PA series with proper colour calibration. It is the perfect "neat" little set up that gets the job done well.
 
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